Monday, November 11, 2013

Husked....And De-Cobbed (Is That a Word?)

I will admit that I had somewhat given up all hope of any chance of a B1G Championship after the display up in East Lansing two weekends ago…But I hadn’t given up hope on a season that could be partially salvaged with 3 victories in the last 4 games.  (I honestly believed that three of the games were winnable - this being one of them.  Not locks, mind you….but Winnable.)  Assuming of course, the right Michigan team shows up.

What I saw Saturday was not only an ugly display of football, it really has me questioning the heart and more to the matter, the integrity of the players that are wearing the Maize and Blue.  I don’t care if you play hard and lose.  That happens.  But what I saw offensively and defensively on Saturday…Well…It was sad.  Dis-illusioning.  And a downright pathetic excuse for Michigan Football. 

I took my oldest daughter to the game (her first this season) and we watched in disbelief as the half time stats showed Michigan with negative rushing yards for the 2nd week in a row.  I thought - What is happening in this program?  You have to earn yards on the ground and I’m frankly getting a little tired of hearing how “Well Tuesday Practice went” when it clearly doesn’t translate on the field.  I don’t know what to think anymore….And we had to leave the game early as I had another commitment Saturday evening.  I was unusually quiet and my daughter, a freshman in high school, spoke up in the car as we were weaving our way through Ann Arbor. 

“Dad, what would you say to the team at half time?”  Ashley has been in her share of, shall we say, difficult half time meetings….I shook my head.  “I dunno, Ash.  I’m a little too stunned for words right now.”

Ashley sat for a minute.  “Know what I’d say, Dad?”  I looked at her.  “Let’s hear it.”

 “I’d say, ‘Listen up all of you!  When I was out there I saw one team playing something that looked like football and I saw another team running around like chickens with their heads chopped off!  And I think you are smart enough to know which team is which!  So you better get it together and go out there in the 2nd half and play Michigan Football.  All of you suck right now….Why is that?”

“And then someone from the team might say something to the coach, Dad.  You know, like ‘But the crowd isn’t cheering for us like they always do.  They are all mellow and not pumped up like they usually are.’ (Clearly Ashley hasn’t been in a football locker room at half time…But she was on a roll.)
“And then I’d say:

“Well, let’s think about that for a moment, shall we?  You guys gave up a victory to the evil enemy last weekend!  What’s the crowd going to cheer for the way you’re playing today?  Oh, Yeah!  It’s the Michigan Team who lost 6-29 last week and you look like you’re about to hand us another loss!  You all need to wake up NOW!  A wise man once said nobody is better than the team…The team is the most important thing.  That man came to be known as the greatest football coach ever known (at Michigan – I will correct her and have her study up on Yost – ed.).  Look around you.  This isn’t the team.  Your parents, the fans, the people who made Michigan possible is the Team.  Your ancestors walked on that field and became legendary.  They made Michigan proud!  They are the football Legends of Michigan.  So, if all you boys want to do is take the name Michigan and not care about if you win or lose then you have failed the football legends that have come before you.  If you want to be remembered as Legends, you have to play like Legends.  Live up to your ancestors names.  Redeem yourselves!  Redeem the name of Michigan!  So get your heads out of your‘ – Dad, can I say the A-S-S word?” 

I nodded….

“ASSES and play like you already won, because if you don’t play like you’re Legends, then you shall never become Legends!  Now get out there and redeem yourselves!  Get out there and play the game you were born to play!  REDEEM the name of Michigan!”

I will admit that the road started to get a little blurry as my eyes began welling up.  They say that the apple never falls far from the tree.  While I knew that Ashley had some of my passion, I never realized how much she had gleaned from some of her own athletic experiences and locker room coaching sessions.  I now know that whatever happens to the ole MMQ in the future, I have a feeling that the blog will live on for quite awhile and at some point, when the torch is handed down…well, let’s just say there will be something to read (the Hot Seat Mascot may not look the same, but oh well....).  I asked Ashley to please write down what she said when she got home.  I have what she wrote here in the office and it will go up on my wall as a reminder of passion.  And Youth.  And the fact that you can only become a slappy fan on your own.  It can’t really be taught…

I would have preferred that Ashley HAD given the half time speech as what came out of the locker room in the 2nd half wasn’t much better than what we saw in the first.  We watched the 4th quarter at home with the rest of the family.  As the final feeble attempt to get a 1st down failed, Ashley turned to me and said.

“Dad, it’s okay.  Michigan sucks this year but there’s always next year.”

Ah….Hope.  The one common denominator of every Slappy Fan….

5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

PRE –GRIEF:  HOPE!  Suckeyes own this category all by themselves…they are DESPERATELY HOPING that someone loses and that someone else doesn’t jump them with SOS’s that are so much better than what the Suckeyes have left on their list……They are hoping and praying and rubbing their collective Suckeye nuts and it will all end ugly for them and they will find themselves down in:

  1.  Denial and Isolation LSU Tigers, Oregon Ducks, Oklahoma Sooners, and probably some Domers…..These are teams that sort of played with their competition over the weekend, but really, when it came down to the nitty-gritty, well, let’s just say that none of the three mentioned above are worthy of a BCS Championship game.  LSU was probably the biggest disappointment as Les has never lost a regular season game to Bama by that wide of a margin.  That’s two in a row where Satan has owned him…The Ducks were never in the game on Thursday night against Stanford, even though they valiantly tried to rally.  The Sooners are a team that just isn’t right and there should be a majority of their fans down in the next phase…We will thow Vandy up into this phase as beating the Gators has to feel good and have you believing that better things are coming…but let’s face it…Gatorland is the Michigan of the SEC this year….
  2. ANGER  - Yeah, if you’re a Sooner, getting your butt kicked BADLY twice in one season is gonna make you mad…But domers(JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) are really down here in force after their team’s debacle in Pittsburgh on Saturday.  Yes, the refs played a big part of that and I’m not sure I like this new “ejection” rule.  Tuit is a very key person on the domer defense and throwing him out of the game is like having the referee decide it right there…Yeah, I love to see the Domers lose…and sometimes I think Karma is alive and well….
  3. Bargaining – Wow…Too many fanbases here to name…but you know who you are.  Suckeyes – (You’re NEVER gonna make it into the Championship Game….Either Stanford or the Baylor Bears will leap frog you….) everyone who is sitting in 2nd place in a major conference or division hoping and praying that someone in front of them screws up.  Clemson, LSU, Huricanes, Sparty (wondering how they lost to the domers and are still blaming the refs on those pass interference calls), just to name a few….There’s also a few delusional Hokies down here that believe that Beamer’s Boys can now do the impossible…Trust Me  - The Canes aren’t that good….And if you get a crack at FSU…Well, we’ll see.
  4. Depression –The Michigan Wolverine fanbase is collectively down here at this point…If you are a Wolverine Fan and you’re not depressed…well, I don’t know who you are.  Not only has your team lost two in a row to arch rivals, but you TICKET PSL RENEWAL just arrived in the mail and they are asking for money early.  Believe me when I say that more than a few of those may have found their way into trash cans across the state of Michigan last week…and possibly on Saturday night.  Gatorland, Game Cocks, Trojans, Wolverines, Clemson Tigers, Hurricanes, Gophers, Kansas and Horned Frogs are all down here, too.    
  5. AcceptanceNWU, Georgia, Purdue, Gatorland (some), Volunteers, and Hoosiers are figuring it out and learning to cope…..
The BCS Mess

Some shake ups in the rankings as a top 5 team goes down and another top 10 team makes its first “Top 5 Appearance”.

Last Week

Now, I’m not much of a gambling man…Okay, who am I trying to kid?  I would be willing to bet right now that one of the top two teams will NOT BE IN THE 1 OR 2 slot by season’s end.  And I’ll lay 100 cool American clams on that if anyone wants to take the bet.  Yes, I’ll say right here and now that Bama or FSU won’t be in the Championship Game.  Can’t say which one, I’m just saying that one of them won’t be.  Anyone want the bet?  Also, not that I CARE all that much at this point, but what is South Carolina doing in the top 10?  This is no a top 10 team, plain and simple.  And believe it or not, as bad as they are, you still have LSU and Georgia with three losses in the top 25…..I guess some of that is sour grapes….But still…..

 Idle Thoughts From Saturday

-There’s a Slappy In The House!
-And It’s a “BIG GAME!”
-I hope we ruin his day…
-And his team doesn’t ruin ours.
-Okay, Back In the Big House!
-This should go better today. 
-Husker defense sucks this year.
-What are we doing?
-God…We cannot rush the ball, period.
-Why are we even trying?
-I get that you need a running game….
-This is pathetic.
-Where’s the defense?
-Nebraska isn’t that good on offense, either…
-We’re making them look like heroes…
-Jeeeez….Can someone block SOMEBODY?
-Overheard in the stadium:
-“Are we any better off after three years of Hoke than we were with Rich Rod?”
-Are our memories REALLY that short?
-I mean…Yeah, I get that the Hoke experiment doesn’t look good right now…
-But the Rich Rod experiment…Well, I guess there was offense.
-Except for when there wasn’t.
-Which wasn’t often and we always seemed to find a way to move the ball…
-Can it be that I’m torn?
-I mean, I hated Rich Rod Football at the end…
-Not the guy himself, just what he put on the field.
-Oh man….Where to from here?
-I’ve been asking that question a lot lately…
-This team has regressed worse than any team I can remember at Michigan
-And I remember a lot of them….
-Even the ugly Rich Rod ones….
-So, where to from here???

The Hot Seat

Hillary Rhoda easily took Week #10 and while some other Mascots got some votes, Hillary will be in the finals.  And still no word from the blog master as to what happened to be being able to add more than 4 options on a Poll.  I will figure something out so don’t worry.  In the meantime, the Hot Seat Mascot for Week #11 is a Victoria Secret model that I happened to stumble on when I saw a blurb in the USA Today that her and hubby Orlando Bloom are splitting…and I figured, “Hey, she’s Hot Seat Mascot Worthy!”  Miranda Kerr!


GONE LIST:  (It’s not the EARLIEST we’ve ever had a gone list….but it’s the earliest “in season” we’ve had a Gone List…)

  2. Paul Pasqualoni
  3. Treadwell
  4. Carlson – Valpraiso….(I know, not exactly on my radar, either.)
Hot Seat Rank

  1. Hazell:  Poor Purdue….what are they gonna do?
  2. Weiss:  Can’t believe he’s still there…
  3. Muschamp – First time on the list, but GATORLAND is getting pissed…Gatorland still not BOWL ELIGIBLE one season after being considered for the BCS Championship….
  4. Snyder:  Retiring?
  5. Biliema:  Arkansas Nation does not like  a B1G re-tread…
  6. The Hatter – you can’t get blown out by Bama…You can lose…but you can’t get blown out.
  7. Holgorensen:  Moves down a little…but had better find a consistent offense
  8. Mullens – Mississippi State…gotta be getting warmer…
  9. DABO:  no chance at national title….
  10. Richt – Wow…Again, injuries are tough….
FMQ Betting Results:
Ugh….What a week.  Sometimes when the points get you, you suddenly want to take every big spread out there.  Then, when the teams cover, all you want to do is take the powerhouses…Again, it was a mixed bag and we are going to be struggling at the end to double up.  We may have to get bold here on someone and just make a big bet.  Even though I hate to do that….

Domers @ Pitt (+4):  Take Pitt and the 4 for $50…Sometimes its like taking candy from a baby…Pitt getting points at home should have been a bigger chunk of change…still, I’’ll take it as it’s the only game I got right this week….

WIN!  BANK:  $95

LSU (+13) @ Bama:  Take LSU and the 13 for $50…OOOOOOPS!  I had said this was a tricky game and I almost didn’t touch it.  But with the Hatter getting so many points….

Va Tech @ Miami (-7):  Take Miami and lay the 7 for $40…So, while I was thinking Beamer would lay down, I guess I should have reversed my thinking between the Hatter and Beamer…Who knew?

FSU @ WF (+35):  Take WF and the 35 for $40  You know what’s sad here?  I had circled FSU to cover and then AT THE LAST MINUTE!!!!!!!  I changed my mind and took Wake Forest to cover at home in bad weather….

Huskers @ Michigan (-7):  Take Michigan and lay the 7 for $50.  I hate it when every pick I made should have gone the other way….Hence is why we toned it down this week.  I guess I had a bad feeling…..

Starting BANK:       $1,049.50
TOTAL WIN:            $95

BANK:                       $1,144.50

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